Just hours after the news broke about the tragedy in Boston, hoaxes started popping up and spreading like wildfire across Facebook and other social media. The first involved the image above, with text saying the child pictured had been killed in the attack and to add to the tragedy, had been running for Newtown, CT. People shared it like crazy, but had they taken the time to think first and do even a moment’s research on Google, they would have quickly realized this is a lie. Here’s why:
The child killed in the bombings was a boy, not a girl.
The child is not wearing a Boston Marathon number bib.
You must be at least 18 years old to run in the event.
Someone obviously starved for attention made up the whole thing, and an innocent child was exploited in the process. Don’t share it!
Another hoax spreading like wildfire involves a photograph or series of four photographs that appear to show a blurry image of a man on top of a building in the area when the bombings occurred. The accompanying text is frantic, urging users to share quickly because for some mysterious reason, Facebook keeps deleting them. It implies the figure on the roof is somehow involved in the attacks.
Again, not true. The photos ARE real but there is no evidence that the person shown there has anything to do with what happened, and it’s not even been proven it is a person — it could be a pipe or other building fixture. Facebook isn’t deleting them and the FBI does not appear to believe the photos have any relevance whatsoever. Don’t share it!
The final hoax going around right now involves a Facebook page called “Thoughts Go Out to All Involved in the Boston Explosions.” It’s since been taken down, but caused some minor hysteria because its “Founded” date was Saturday, April 13th, two days before the attacks. Conspiracy theorists immediately pounced, shouting it was proof the government planned the attacks, and others used to to spread fear. In reality, a founded date proves nothing because it can be changed to whatever the page owner likes, so it was probably someone’s idea of a very bad joke, nothing more. Don’t share it!
It’s important to think, check and double check before you share anything on Facebook, marathon related or otherwise. There are so many hoaxes there, some that are simply stupid, others are fear or hate mongering, and some give downright dangerous information, like the hoax about a man who was saved from third degree burns by putting raw egg whites on his face. There are also a variety of truly heartbreaking hoaxes that involve graphic photos of babies with serious deformities or skin diseases.
They all claim Facebook will pay a set amount every time the photo is shared and that money goes to the family or to research. None of them are true. All of the photos were stolen and posted without the permission of the childrens’ parents, none of them accurately describe the child’s illness, and sadly, in most cases, the child passed away from their illness years earlier. It’s terrible exploitation.
If you come across these or any hoaxes on Facebook, don’t share them, report them or ignore them. Don’t feed someone’s sick need for attention.
<Source: That’s Nonsense>